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Treating Later Life Depression: A CBT Approach

Larry Thompson, Dolores Gallagher Thompson, Ann Steffen

18 May 2022


PLEASE NOTE:  This event is over 3 days:

Tuesday 17th May 2022  -  15.00 - 17.00 hrs

Wednesday 18th May 2022  -  15.00 - 17.00 hrs

Thursday 19th May 2022  -  15.00 - 17.00 hrs

One of the greatest challenges for practitioners treating later-life depression is the wide variability of life circumstances that accompany depressive symptoms for aging clients across outpatient mental health and integrated primary care. This workshop reflects continuing international scientific and clinical advances in applying CBT with depressed middle-aged and older adults, using examples from the newly revised Treating Later-Life Depression: A Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Approach from Oxford University Press. Detailed suggestions will be provided and demonstrated for how to modify core CBT strategies in your sessions with aging clients, including behavioural activation, problem solving, attention to personal strengths and positive emotional experiences, and cognitive reappraisal. A particular focus will be on strategies for working with challenging clients who have suspected or diagnosed mild cognitive impairment.

The event will be equivalent to 5.1/2hrs of CPD.


This workshop will cover key topics in treating later life depression, including:
-Case conceptualization and treatment planning
-Collaborative goal setting and measurement-based care
-Relationship development and within-session therapy process
-Common age-related modifications to therapy orientation, behavioural activation, cognitive reappraisal, and termination processes
-Working with depressed clients with suspected or diagnosed mild cognitive impairment

Learning Objectives

By the end of this 6-hour workshop, participants will be able to:
- Identify essential domains to include when developing a case conceptualization of later-life depression
-Plan a course of treatment (prioritize treatment goals and select appropriate change strategies) from a case presented at the workshop
-Describe rationale and technique for culturally responsive modifications for behavioural activation with middle-aged and older clients
-Describe rationale and technique for culturally responsive modifications for cognitive reappraisal strategies with middle-aged and older clients
-Demonstrate at least one method to enhance within-session focus and effective pacing
-Explain strategies for challenging clients with mild cognitive impairment

Training Modalities

Didactic content, videotaped demonstrations, polls, Q&A.

Key References

Steffen, A. M., Thompson, L. W., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2021). Treating Later-Life Depression: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach, Clinician Guide. Oxford University Press.
Steffen, A. M., Dick-Siskin, L. P., Bilbrey, A. C., Thompson, L. W., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2021). Treating Later-Life Depression: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach, Workbook. Oxford University Press.
Pachana, Molinari, Thompson, & Gallagher-Thompson (Eds.) (2021), Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Older Adults. Hogrefe Publishing.
Bilbrey, A. C., Laidlaw, K., Cassidy-Eagle, E., Thompson, L. W., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2020). Cognitive behavioral therapy for late-life depression: Evidence, issues, and recommendations. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.

About the presenter

Larry Thompson, PhD, ABPP is a clinical geropsychologist and Professor Emeritus of
Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States. In his academic research, teaching and clinical career of over 50 years, he has specialized in how to enhance the mental health and well-being of older adults. Dr. Thompson has authored more than 200 articles published in peer reviewed journals and written, edited and co-edited books relevant to the field. He is the recipient of the M. Powell Lawton Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Applied Geropsychology by the American Psychological Association. Larry is an engaging presenter with decades of clinical experience “in the trenches” and greatly enjoys his current work training practitioners.

Dolores Gallagher Thompson, PhD, ABPP, is a well-known trainer in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for depressed older adults within the United States. She is a board certified Geropsychologist with over 25 years of experience, a Stanford University School of Medicine Research Professor Emerita, and former director of the Stanford Geriatric Education Center (SGEC). Dr. Gallagher-Thompson is an international expert in adapting interventions to be culturally responsive and she maintains a strong interest in ways to reduce stress in family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Dolores’ efforts in the field of geropsychology have led to awards as well as a large number of books and professional journal articles.

Ann Steffen, Ph.D., ABPP is a professor of psychology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the USA, where she has spent her career in teaching, research, supervision, professional training, and direct clinical services focused on the needs of older adults and family caregivers. At UM-St. Louis, she has served as the director of Gerontology programs and as director of clinical training for the American Psychological Association-approved doctoral program in clinical psychology. Dr. Steffen is a faculty clinician at the UM-St. Louis Community Psychological Service, and is dual board certified in Behavioral & Cognitive Psychology and in Geropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Ann enjoys her contact with licensed clinicians and is active as a professional trainer in CBT applied to the needs of middle-aged and older adults.

Who should attend

This webinar is most suitable for practitioners delivering individual-level low to moderate intensity CBT interventions with depressed middle-aged and older adults, with or without comorbid anxiety symptoms.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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